​​What is Growth Hacking?

calendar Oct 2, 2022
author Written by Artur Glukhovskyy

Growth hacking or growth marketing is data-driven full-funnel marketing based on rapid experimentation. Let's break that down bit by bit. 

In the video below, we explain the real definition of growth hacking or growth marketing, why it's different to marketing and how it's evolved over time. 

First, the difference between growth hacking and traditional marketing.

Now, the main difference with traditional marketing is that whereas a marketeer would only focus on driving traffic to a website or service, or the awareness stage of the funnel, a growth marketing or a growth hacking team focuses on the full customer journey, it's a much longer journey. 

For acquisition, will the user engage with the website? For example, by signing up or by engaging for one or two minutes. 

For activation, will the user feel a great first user experience and understand the core value of your product in their first experience? What we call reaching the wow moment, the aha moment, the I need this in my life moment. 

For retention, will they come back and use your product again, become daily, weekly, monthly, yearly active users? Will they come back and buy again? 

But it goes further than that. 

For revenue, what pricing strategies can we experiment with? What can we upsell? What can we cross-sell? 

And for referrals, can we build virality into our product? Can we build positive virality? 

Growth Hacking and Full Funnel Marketing

As you can see, it's already a lot more than just marketing. What should capture your attention is that these steps of the funnel in the middle (acquisition to retention) are very product-oriented, they're very dev intensive. 

Onboarding customers and retaining them often involves a heavy hand on the product and the development side and on the wireframing side, it's no longer just marketing. 

And it's not just the middle of the funnel, even at the very top of the funnel, a good growth marketeer will try to use as much automation as possible. To come up with creative ways of driving traffic.  

What we're doing is we're slowly dissolving the line between marketing and product.

Marketing and product are no longer two different things. 

One of our favourite examples is engineered marketing. Or tools based marketing. This is just another example of creative marketing, choosing between the millions of combinations of medium and message. 

Once they've ensured a steady flow of customers, enough to start running experiments, a growth marketer’s or growth team’s job is to use data. Both hard data and soft data to attract customers along their customer journeys, and start experimenting on how to improve conversions along the way. 

Now to do this, right, you need quite a lot of customer empathy and behavioural psychology. What can we use from the fields of behavioural economics such as persuasion techniques, or human biases to convert more customers to our product or service?

And finally, once you run experiments, and you find out what works, we use coding and automation to build those successes directly into the product, either by systemising it or by producing it. 

Growth Hackers and Growth Marketers Experiment

Now the growth hacker can't randomly use all of these skills to find out what's actually going to work. 

You can't randomly select from the 1000s of tools and tactics on how to improve your metrics. 

So you need experiments. 

And this is another big difference with marketing. Marketing campaigns and guts driven decisions have been replaced with rapid experimentation with data-backed decision making. 

Leading and disruptive companies need a scalable, adaptable, easy to implement process to run experiments faster. 

We've actually developed a whole process around this it's called the G.R.O.W.S process. 

And you can see all of the details in this other video, which we published on YouTube. 

And that's how the best are achieving scalability and growth. 

Therefore, why are you still using external agencies and external consultants for your growth? That just doesn't cut it anymore, growth is too important to be externalised. 

It's time to hire and train people on the right digital and psychological skills for them to be able to use the latest cutting edge tools and implement growth rapidly. 

Growth Hacking or Growth Marketing in a Nutshell

So like we said in the beginning, growth hacking or growth marketing is data-driven, full-funnel marketing based on rapid experimentation. 

And it doesn't really matter what we call it as long as it brings growth. That's all we're interested in, growth. 

Now, of course, there's a lot of nuances when I say that the only thing that matters is growth. 

Is it ethical growth? What's your ethical bandwidth? What kind of tactics are you using? 

There are also nuances depending on what industry are you in? How big is your company? How important is risk, compliance, branding, agencies? 

What does your customer journey look like? Are you fully digital? Are you omnichannel and also how long is your sales cycle? 

Is it from one day to actually one year even with all of these nuances taken into account? 

We hope we’ve given you a good explanation of what we now mean by growth hacking, or growth marketing or just growth in general. 

With all things being equal, we believe that speed will win. 

Try to implement rapid experimentation as soon as possible.

Growth Hacking Process

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